odds and ends

It has been a while since I last emptied my phone of ISBNs. These are books I am tempted to buy on the spot, in the bookshop. I have managed to develop a system that has been moderately successful in reducing the number of books I buy. When I’m out and about, and see a book that tempts (this happens far too often), I save the ISBN in my phone. Every so often I empty out the ISBNs into a post here. This backfired on me last time as there’s an inbetween step, that is I key the ISBNs into a text editor before looking them up via booko and blogging them. Unfortunately, having finished this task for 20 odd books a couple of months ago, having already deleted from the phone, I deleted said text file a couple of days later (thinking they were work related ISBNs) and was unable to blog them. That left me a wee bit disheartened. Here is the current list, though much shorter as I haven’t been going into bookshops as much of late. These are books that spark a sort of “oh, that looks interesting” moment – I think a post is warranted whereby I go through all the lists I’ve posted and summarise which ones I have bought and which ones remain tempting [all links lead to booko].

  • The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman [9781921656194]
  • The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon [9781921656354] – I’m curious about this novella as I’ve liked what I read of Zafon in The Shadow of the Wind (which I picked up cheaply, via Amazon, in a nice edition by Subterranean Press). I am yet to read The Angel’s Game, which I picked up in a limited edition (signed with slipcase) in London last year. With that said, I think Subterranean Press have announced that they’ll be doing a special edition of it too – that will be very tempting.
  • Dark Matter by Juli Zeh [9781846552083]
  • Zombie Myths of Australian Military History by Craig Stockings [9781742230795] – while I think the title is a little misleading ie there are no zombies in the way most of us think of the term, it still looks like an interesting book that examines some of the “myths that refuse to die” in the history of Australia’s military involvement.
  • Reading Matters: Five Centuries of Discovering Books by Margaret Willes [PB: 9780300164046, HC: 9780300127294]
  • On Evil by Terry Eagleton [9780300151060] – Eagleton has long been an intriguing and interesting writer. I first came across him via his fictional account of the meeting of Ludwig Wittgenstein, James Connolly & Leopold Bloom, as told in Saints and Scholars.
  • Gimlet Goes to War by W.E. Johns [9781742373485] – needless to say I grew up loving Biggles. I have over 70 Biggles’ books and have even collected some of the alternate series including Worrals and Gimlet.
  • Captain America: The Death Of Captain America Omnibus HC by Ed Brubaker [9780785138068] – I may well purchase this one tonight as it’s a mere AUD$50 from Book Depository US. I don’t know what it is about Capt America, but it’s always been one of my favourite comics. Perhaps, it’s that sense of an ordinary man, perhaps the patriotism (intelligent rather than blind), perhaps something else.

Speaking of Subterranean Press, in an effort to cut down on my voracious purchasing of special editions, I ultimately missed out on their edition of The Martian Chronicles – this was no mere item and collected everything related including my favourite story as a child, “Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed”. It was admittedly USD$300 for the limited (and USD$900 for the lettered!) but it sold out quickly. As expensive as it was, I do regret a little not getting the limited edition. With that said, at USD$125, I continue to be tempted by their limited edition of The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. This was done as a film called “The Ninth Gate“, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Johnny Depp. I will definitely get “Amberjack: Tales of Fear & Wonder” by Terry Dowling when it’s released though that is a mere USD$40. I’ve read and own, all his books in the Rynosseros series and love his story telling and the way he creates a future tale against the Australian landscape.

I’m also on the lookout for a nice edition of The Three Musketeers. I spent years waiting for just the right edition of Don Quixote and I think the Musketeers might be a worthy next goal. To be fair, though not necessarily on the lookout, if I do happen upon a beautiful edition of some work I have strong desires for then it will be hard to resist. So far I have been lucky, and nothing seriously tempting has crossed my path in a while.

[update: I have just ordered the Capt America Omnibus – no surprises there]

7 thoughts on “odds and ends”

  1. Have you thought of reserving these from your local public library rather than saving ISBNs?

  2. But that would mean I can’t own them :-) Certainly there are books I would happily read and pass on, but it remains the case that I have a certain fetish for ownership – this was somewhat independent of whether the books actually get read. I s’pose there’s a sort of sense of having book x for when I need it – I do like to have a working library at my fingertips, so that when I get that urge to write up something on a particular topic, then the required book is at hand.

  3. Lol – Polyxena you beat me to it. Snail – I keep a list of titles in my phone that I have seen in a bookstore, and want to read. And periodically I go and put holds on them at my local library (well the one that doesn’t make me pay for holds, so the next suburb over local library). It saves me money, and it’s not like you can’t go and buy it afterwards if it turns out to be fabulous.

  4. lol…it sounds like way too many books on bookshelves that will gather dust and hence need to be dusted. You must have heaps of storage space?

  5. I currently have around 2,000 or so books, which will all be added to my LibraryThing account eventually. I currently have 9 bookcases of varying size spread throughout my 2 bedroom flat. The flat is large with 12 foot ceilings and an open plan, ie I could comfortably double the number of books in the space.

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